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• Such, many years parled, was the character given of Isaiah in one of the most consummate works of criticism : an importe apt work indeed, whether we consider its fubferviency to religion, the supremelt object of human concern. or its reference to poetry, that highest energy of human intellect, that dobleft and loveliest expression of human sentiment and passion, chat last perfection of human language, that furelt embalmer of wisdom for all ages, that art for ever dignified by the practice of the holy prophets, and by the folemn fančtion of the divine Spinit itself; in a few words, that art which can (if any can) along give us the most perfect and attractive image of virtue, and with a sort of God-like faculty fpread before us a fairer order of things, and create (as it were) a new heaven and a new earth to raise our drooping spirits.
We believe the author would find some difficulty in proving that the prophets always expressed themselves poetically, and in explaining to our satisfaction how the art itself has obtained the sanction of the divine Spirit. The latier assertion is an absurdity: the former, if we understand him right, a mistake. If he means that because the prophets used in general a poetic style, that therefore something sacred is annexed to the nature of poetry, the idea is puerile. It might be proved that there is something noble and divine in prole, and equally subservient to religion, by the fame argument; for Chriit spoke, and his apoftles wrote, without any
artificial arrangement of words, or modulation of numbers. In regard to what follows, in the Preface, we heartily concur with the author in the praises bestowed on Dr. Lowth, but do not equally agree with him in other matters ; not so much that we controvert his positions, as that we really do not comprehend them. What connection, for instance, can we find, or what meaning collect, from the following ill-forted sentences ? The wbole chain of argumentation, if we may call it so, seems composed of broken links of hete. rogeneous materials.
• The literary taste of a people must in part be imputed to literary principles, and in this respect we are right or wrong not only from what we commonly do, but from what we commonly read, from the habit of our speculations as well as actions.To be prejudiced, is a disposition to which one is fubject more than is usually suspected, and therefore we too much admire as well as despise the works of antiquity, overlooking the gains as well as lofles of time. It is God-like in many ftances to be pleased with variety, for variety characterises, the worl:s as well as word of God. We too often condemn as wrong what we foald rather say we dilike, and we thence form theories to justify prejudice, and to rivet infrmity on the mind, instead of such as would increase its strength, enlarge its sympathy with whatever excelleney, and dispose is to end courage the advancemeot of laudable things. The works of měn, that are now no more, and which are come down to us 5
precious from the fiery searching of many ages, afturedly de. mand the stamp of praise from the present times.'
We are forry to observe that, in too many other places where the author aims at being argumentative, he becomes abftrufe ; and where he attempts an elevation of ftyle, he degenerates into bombaft. As a specimen of his poetical abilities we shall give his version of the seven firt verses of the fifty-third chapter, which contains the remarkable prediction of our Saviour's humble appearance on earth, and is probably as interesting and pathetic a passage as any in the prophecies of Ifaiah.
Who (shall he say) hath our report receiv'd ?
Yea of a mean presentment from his birth. ** In bim por air nor form majestic move
Rey'rence, nor all-attractive beauty love.
Held in th' account of poverty's worst state 2. As shame-funk, woe-begone, and desolate;
13 A man indeed of such supremest grief . As seem'd to human fight beyond relief. " He was 'defpis'd, he was upon our scorn
Caft, yet our frailties all hath kindly borne. *** But though our forrows have his burthen beea,
Still' in our scorn as juftly stricken seen
With cruel censure point calamity.
He with his forrows pays our fin's vast loan;
Our peace to purchase with his punishment,
The fin-wrooght sentence halt ning on us all,
Then as the lamb approaching flaughter's hand,
Mute, unresitting, thus from revérence meek * This gen'rous victim deems it blame to speak,
And yielding filent to the folemn law':04:
Deigns on his head our morcal doom to draw. The fenfe is here sufficiently dilated; but, we apprehend, the spirt and pathos of the original proportionably diminilhed. In
fome wide web :0.17 on vrac is UT
some places Mr. Butt has wrote in a more fpirited manner, and conseguently succeeded better ; and we would recommend to him in any future composition, not to be fo poetical in his prose, and to be less prolaic in his verse.
Abelard to Eloisa : an Epifle. With a new Account of their Lives,
and References to their Original Correspondence. Small 8vo. 6.
poetical collection, of which we gave some account, vol. Ivii. p. 5. It is now altered and considerably enlarged. We then took notice that the author, 'confidered as an imitator, not a rival, of Pope, appeared in a respectable light ;' and we obferve, with pleasure, that the present poem approaches still nearer to that author's in grace and harmony. As our first opinion was given without any quotation to establish its justice, we shall submit the following in vindication of our sentiments. The first lines allade to the abbey of St. Gildas, in Britanny, from whence Abelard's epiftles are said to be written. The concluding ones, which describe his former affection as re. kindled at the name of Eloisa, mixed with the enthufiaftic sentiments his situation would most naturally be fuppofed to pros duce, are truly beautiful.
• Miltaking man! who thinks in shades to find
“ Ye naked hills, unbless'd by nature's care!
• In vain remonftrance lends her feeble aid,
And dare that hand assume the pastor's rod?
Or banish'd hence to Paraclete remove,
: Wild at the found to folitude I fly,
• Nor this alonessuperior duties claim
grace with ardours not their own.
• Frem scenes like those when Eloisa's soul
"And sure when hope with infant hold prepard
id mind; re adure.
re's care! S thare, wing to the day
Severer science join'd the blooming train,
* Alas! that letter'd ease, by heaven design'd
• Uniouch'd, unsway'd by fortune's base controul,
• O treacherous moment, short, and insecure !
POETRY An Invocation to Melancholy.. A Fragment. 4to. THE CHE subject of this performance is capable of high poetical
imbellishments, and the author has sometimes succeeded in their delineation. Like Hotspur, he apprehends a world of bgures,' but they are not in general properly methodised, nor